I’ve been here before. You leave a garden for three weeks and come home to a jungle. Everything which looked fairly neat in June is now a wilderness. Which is why August and September are the Time of the Grass. Not just grass, mind you, but willowherb, thistle, goose grass and horsetail….
To make it worse, it is raining. It is said that the Inuit have many different words for snow – the Scots do the same for rain. What we have today is smirr – a fine drizzle descending from low cloud, blanketing everything in it’s own particular wetness. This is not to be confused with haar, which is the damp fog which rolls off the sea on an easterly wind. A day with more substantial rain is generally held to be dreich. Gardening in any of them results in becoming drookit…..
So, I’m not going out. Instead I am using the last of the raspberries to make cranachan – one of the few truly great Scottish puddings, guaranteed to bring back some joy to life. It’s easy:
Toast the oatmeal gently under the grill, maybe with a bit of brown sugar mixed in. Whip the cream, gently stir in the honey and whisky, then mash most of the raspberries and fold them into the mix together with the toasted oatmeal. Garnish with mint or scented geranium. And that’s it.
Just what’s needed.